TPG Capital has sold its entire interest in Taiwan-based Taishin Financial Holdings, according to media reports. The deal is said to be worth $181.5 million. TPG or Taishin did not respond to requests for comment.
The firm exited six years after its original investment in the financial services firm, according to reports. It acquired a 22.3 percent stake in March 2006 at TWD18 per share. The firm has made a series of divestments since.
There have been concerns surrounding the financial sector in Taiwan. Walter Yen, specialist at the Taiwan Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, told PE Asia earlier that private equity firms wanting to exit their Taiwan bank investments will be hindered by a financial sector that has too many players, more losses than profit, and a poor local credit environment.
In May, The Carlyle Group’s long-awaited sale of Taiwan’s Ta Chong Bank faced a setback as Taiwanese buyers Yuanta Financial and Fubon Financial both reportedly withdrew their bids, saying it was not the right time for an acquisition.
However, there are hopes the situation is improving. Taiwan banks on average are expected to have a profitable year in 2012, according to the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance.
TPG's prior involvement with Taiwan includes a dispute with a Taiwan-based bank.
During the firm’s bid for a 17 percent of the Shenzhen Development Bank in 2004 (which it sold in 2010 to Ping An Insurance), the firm filed suit against Taiwanese Chinatrust Commercial Bank, accusing it of interfering with the firm’s purchase plans after SDB's Chinese stakeholders tried to sell their shares to Chinatrust Financial. The dispute was eventually resolved and the deal finally went through in 2004.
In general, Taiwan’s private equity industry has been quiet recently, despite the country’s solid macroeconomic credentials. From 2007 to 2011, Taiwan had only 86 private equity investments, compared to the close to 2000 made in Korea, according to data from Thomson Reuters.